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Damian Lillard played through abdominal injury during Olympics

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games - Day Fifteen

USA’s Damian Lillard in action during the Men’s Gold Medal match at the Saitama Super Arena on the fifteenth day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Picture date: Saturday August 7, 2021. (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)

PA Images via Getty Images

Damian Lillard hit a couple of critical shots for Team USA in the fourth quarter of the gold medal game against France, helping propel the USA to its fourth straight gold. Kevin Durant said Lillard “took over for us” in the fourth.

But for most of the Tokyo Olympics, Lillard had not looked like himself. He shot 35% from 3 (down from 39.1% in the regular season) and just 38% overall (down from 45.1%), plus he passed up chances to drive and attack the rim at points. Now we know why — Lillard was playing through an abdominal injury. From Shams Charania of The Athletic.

That is a vague description of the injury, and the “further testing” part is concerning, but if it were something serious Team USA would have shut him down. The injury didn’t stop Lillard from playing — or lifting a champagne bottle.

Lillard is now off for nearly two months until training camps open on Sept. 28. While he will be working out and getting in shape between now, Lillard will have time to recover from whatever this injury is.

And he can celebrate a gold medal while doing it.